New York Racial Justice Commission proposes voting measures, will ask voters for fairness plan – NBC New York

New York City voters would be asked to decide whether there should be a city-wide racial equity plan as part of a proposal presented Thursday by a charter review board convened to the sequel to last year’s racial justice protests.

The Racial Justice Commission at its penultimate meeting voted on measures that would be on the ballot in November pending approval of their final language, which also includes the creation of a racial equity office and the creation of a tool to measure the real cost of living in New York.

The measures “lay a foundation for racial equity that would propel the city” forward, providing “access and opportunity for everyone,” said Jennifer Jones Austin, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies CEO and President of the commission.

The charter is the constitution of the city, specifying how it is organized and how it functions. The role of a review board is to propose all relevant amendments, which are put on the general election ballot for voters to reject or accept.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the commission in March, with the direction that it review the city’s charter from a racial equity perspective and make recommendations.

At the time, de Blasio said, “Our mission is to eradicate systemic racism in New York City. The Racial Justice Commission has the power to come up with permanent and transformative ideas for our government and our city. This moment demands nothing less. “

The measures of the resolution voted on at Thursday’s meeting will be put into linguistic form in the final ballot and submitted to the committee for approval next week, after which they will be handed over to the city clerk to be voted on in November.

The city’s equity plan would come out every two years, in coordination with the city’s budget, and would outline the priorities and goals for achieving racial equity.

Over the past few months, the commission has held public hearings and heard from various personalities to try to determine what would be part of its recommendations.

At the start of Thursday’s meeting, Jones Austin alluded to ideas and issues that weren’t included in the voting measures, either because they were outside the city’s powers or because their scope was broader than the jurisdiction of the current commission, such as the broader truth appeal and reconciliation commission process or the request for reparations.

Rather, these ideas and others are included in a roadmap for racial justice that would be presented as something to be considered by future municipal governments or charter review boards.